Pyramid Hunting in Guatemala

If you want to see some spectacular pyramids in a natural setting then you might think that Egypt is the only choice of destination for doing this.

However, before packing your bags and heading off for an adventure on the Nile you could consider some of the other places around the world with stunning pyramids.

Interestingly, Sudan has more of these structures than any other country, while you will also find them in places such as Nigeria and Mexico. Having said that, is there anywhere more thrilling to go pyramid hunting then in Guatemala?

The Legendary Tikal

The most famous pyramid site in Guatemala is the amazing Tikal. This was once a thriving Mayan city of up to 90,000 inhabitants and it now a UNESCO world heritage site that attracts busloads of curious visitors every day.


It sits deep in the jungle and offers a memorable destination that takes you back in time to the days of Mayan rulers, their ancient ball game, mysterious crystal skulls and, gulp, human sacrifices. It is a remote location but the fact that Flores is about an hour away by bus means that it is accessible to more tourists than ever before.

As with every type of popular tourist attraction like this, the secret to fully appreciating its beauty and spirituality is in finding a way of seeing it when you aren’t surrounded by tons of tourists waving selfie sticks around. To this end, it makes sense to get there early. By doing this you can climb to the top of an ancient pyramid and enjoy an unbeatable experience in peace.


Flores is a nearby town that is almost unbearably cool. A lot of travellers make this their base from which they head out to explore Tikal but it is also a fantastic spot in its own right.

Part of Flores is on an island and it is a great place to carry out some water sports. Life is laid back and it is easy to get caught up in the slow pace and spend more time here than you had planned.

If you really want to do some slow travel then this is the ideal place, with friendly locals and a happy, hippy vibe that is pretty contagious.


Tikal is far from being the only Mayan site in Guatemala with pyramids. The magnificent Yaxha is one of the best of the others for you to visit if you can.


This ruined city had a breath-taking location overlooking Lake Yaxha, so you will want your camera to be in perfect working order before you get here. If you want to experience something very special then plan to get here in time to catch the often unbelievable sunset over the lake.

You might also be lucky and hear some howler monkeys while you are here, in another reminder that you are deep in the jungle and far from home.

There are more than 500 structures in this complex and it makes for a great stop on your way to or from Flores.

El Mirador

Guatemala also offers charming regions such as around Lake Atitlan, which has been described as the beautiful lake in the world. However, if you are still keen to go pyramid hunting then El Mirador offers something truly unique.

This is a giant “lost” city in the jungle that is still far off the beaten track as far as tourism goes. Indeed, a lot of the buildings are still buried under mounds of earth.

You can arrange a mule train trip to El Mirador from Flores or Santa Elena but travel lightly and expect a genuine adventure along the way. This is the kind of tourism that long term memories are made of, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge